First thing’s first – I changed the name of my blog to ‘Double Life.’ I made the name change because over the course of being here, the thing that people always comment on is that I apparently lead a ‘double life’ by teaching preschool children by day and training/fighting by night. The contrast of the two fascinates people and so I thought it would be an appropriate change! 🙂
Anyway, like the title of this post says, third time’s a charm! I won my third fight (September 24th) in the second round by TKO.
THAT FEELING THOUGH.
I’ve never felt something so exhilarating as winning that fight. I worked so fucking hard physically and mentally and it paid off. I walked into Tha Pae stadium with the intent to get the win and I wouldn’t be leaving without it.
I felt completely prepared for this fight. I was training extremely hard, really giving it everything I had. I was also trying out mental training, which I mentioned I would be doing in my last post. I read Relentless by Tim Grover and I felt connected to his words, actually using some of them as ‘mantras’ for light meditation.
I was the last fight, which is usually the case, and I was pacing, just ready to get in the ring and get the energy out of me. During my first fight, of course I wanted to win, but I was honestly just proud of myself for getting in there that I didn’t go into it with such an intense intentions. I was just happy to fight five rounds without getting injured. During my second fight, I was nervous as all hell, felt too much pressure from my corner, and didn’t feel very prepared, resulting in not the greatest experience. My third fight — I wanted to take matters into my own hands. I wanted to own my feelings, own the experience, own my actions — and I wanted to own that win.
Dang had been very adamant about helping Amy and I with our kicking speed/technique leading up to our fights (we fought the same night – I fought at Tha Pae, Amy fought at Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium), so we had to do this torturous drill where we just kicked each other as fast as we could until he told us to stop. As much as we disliked the drill, it really did help – we both saw great improvement in our speed and accuracy. Anyway, because of this drill, I just really wanted to come out kicking, which is what I did, but my kicks weren’t coming up high enough, so my opponent and I kept kicking each other right in the shins – holy shit did that hurt. Early on, my right shin was feeling pretty rough, and you could tell by my body language and facial expression. There was no hiding it.
After the first round, I knew my right shin couldn’t take much more so I was going to have to go into the second round aggressive. My corner was hyping up combos, so that’s what I focused on and it worked. I threw a jab and then a kick, and it worked every time. Then, I was able to throw some elbows (although not the cleanest) to her head, which caused her to spit up a bit, and she got an 8-count from the ref. After that, she was just mentally finished, but we continued, and I kept on with the jab kick combo. Shortly after, they called the fight and I won by TKO.
You can watch the video of my fight below (if you can’t see it, please let me know and I can post it on Facebook! trying out this embedded video thing for the first time):
As you can see in the video, I was fucking HYPED when I got the win. Winning this fight meant so much to me. I felt so prepared and confident for this fight but of course I was nervous — more so nervous because if I didn’t win this fight, I was thinking I would have to reconsider fighting, and that really would have been a sad decision to make.
This fight reinforced everything that everyone had been telling me — to be my own biggest fan, not worry so much about what everyone else thinks, and to just work hard.
Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle during this fight and tried training on it for a week after because I can be stubborn and was worried my trainers would think I was being lazy, but after consulting a doctor, I decided to take some time off. I took a little over a week off from training and the swelling completely went down, as did the bruising.
It was kind of nice to have some time off but by the end, I was ready to get back to the gym. Everything was going well, my ankle felt fine – I was pumped. Day 3 of training rolls around and I’m feeling good! One of the trainers started messing around and wanting to clinch towards the end of training, so I just kind of let him jump on me and throw some knees as I stood there helpless, until he jumped and kneed me super hard in the rib on my right side. I keeled over in pain, and I immediately knew that he hit the rib I injured during my first fight. I was so pissed but tried not to show it. Dang saw what happened and said something to the trainer – I assume something along the lines of “Why would you do that when you know she has had this ongoing rib injury?” I was already in a lot of pain and I knew that now I was back at square one with this injury. Rib injuries take a very long time to heal and I was towards the end of my healing process with this one, only to have it completely fucked again.
That night I got home from the gym, iced my ribs, rubbed some thai herbal balm into it and tried to sleep, although I couldn’t get comfortable for obvious reasons. The next day I thought I would still train, so I started off as I usually do with a run, but it was apparent that I was going to have a rough day. The run was just okay, and when I got back to the gym, I went to jump rope and absolutely could not. Then, I tried bag work, which felt fine – not great, but at least I could go at my own pace and take it easy. Dang called me over for padwork and with every sharp movement, I was clearly grimacing and making some noises that made Dang stop padwork. He said “Nope! You cannot,” and as he walked me over to the bench, he said something again to the trainer who hurt me, which I think was something like “See! Look what you did.”
Dang then said to me “You cannot train. You need to heal. This injury you’ve had so long now. It needs to get better. I don’t want you to come here, pay money to train, and you can’t go 100%. Keep doing what you can – running, fitness – and when you’re ready, come back.”
It felt good to have Dang on my side and know that he was looking out for my best interest, but I was also really disappointed because I know that this will take a long time to heal.
In an effort to help speed up the healing process, I decided to try taking this thai herbal medicine called Ya Nam La Damphon (Sylvie has also written about this – you can read her post here). Essentially, it’s a laxative that’s meant to rid the body of toxins and help you heal faster from injuries. Pom tells us to take it after fights if we’re hurt, hoping to speed up the healing process. It isn’t sold in pharmacies anymore from what Pom told me, so I bought some off of her for 40 baht from her stash. I’ve taken it once before, but it actually didn’t work – it just gave me crazy nightmares and I didn’t go to the bathroom at all. So, the day after Dang told me to take it easy, I decided to take the day to rid my body of the toxins. I was told to drink only a little – about 4 – 6 oz. I woke up and drank this stuff on an empty stomach as I was told to do, around 9:30 am. Well, 11:30 am rolls around and I’m feeling fine – just a few stomach gurgles. I started getting really hungry so I decided to have a granola bar and some water. Within 20 minutes, I was in the bathroom. I was surprised that it took so long to get through my system (over 2 hrs), but maybe the food and water helped. I was also surprised by how quickly it was over – I mean, within 45 minutes I was completely finished. Unfortunately though, it didn’t make a difference with my ribs. Oh well, at least I tried!
Now that I can’t go to training, I have been running, lifting weights, and doing some plyometrics to keep myself in shape. My ribs have actually started to feel worse, not better, and I can now pin point exactly where the pain is coming from, where as I couldn’t when this first happened. I’m applying heat and rubbing thai herbal balm on it still, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s getting better yet. I guess I’m a bit impatient. 🙂